World Hepatitis Day 2023

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Introduction

World Hepatitis Day, observed on July 28th, serves as a crucial reminder of the ongoing battle against hepatitis (HBV), a viral infection that affects millions of people worldwide. In 2019, it was estimated that 296 million people were living with chronic hepatitis B, resulting in over 800,000 fatalities1. In this article, we will delve into the intricate mechanisms behind hepatitis, explore the viral species responsible for its occurrence, discuss methods for diagnosis, and shed light on treatment and management strategies.

Understanding Hepatitis

Hepatitis refers to the inflammation of the liver, often caused by viral infections. Among the primary hepatitis viruses are Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E, each with distinct modes of transmission and characteristics2.

Mechanisms of Hepatitis Infection

Hepatitis A and E: Hepatitis A and E viruses are primarily transmitted via the faecal-oral route, often through contaminated food or water. Ingestion of these viruses leads to acute infection, and while self-limiting in most cases, they can cause significant morbidity and mortality in certain populations5,6.

Hepatitis B, C, and D: Hepatitis B, C, and D viruses are predominantly spread through blood and bodily fluids. Hepatitis B can also be transmitted from mother to child during childbirth which in endemic areas, HBV infection from mother to child transmission accounted for approximately half of chronic infections. These viruses can cause chronic infections, leading to long-term liver damage, cirrhosis, and an increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma7,8.

Diagnosis of Hepatitis

Accurate and timely diagnosis of hepatitis is crucial for appropriate management. Diagnostic methods include:

Serology: Serological tests, such as enzyme immunoassays, are employed to detect specific viral antigens or antibodies in blood samples, aiding in the identification of different hepatitis viruses and determining the stage of infection9.

Nucleic Acid Testing: Highly sensitive molecular techniques like polymerase chain reaction (PCR) enable the detection and quantification of viral genetic material, aiding in the diagnosis and monitoring of chronic hepatitis10.

Treatment and Management of Hepatitis

The management of hepatitis depends on several factors, including the virus involved, the stage of infection, the presence of co-infections, and the individual patient’s health status. Treatment strategies encompass:

Antiviral Medications: For hepatitis B and C, antiviral drugs such as interferons and direct-acting antivirals have revolutionized the treatment landscape, offering higher cure rates and improved outcomes11,12.

Supportive Care: Hepatitis patients may require supportive care to alleviate symptoms, maintain proper nutrition, and manage complications. Vaccination against hepatitis A and B is highly recommended for prevention13.

Liver Transplantation: In cases of end-stage liver disease or hepatocellular carcinoma resulting from chronic hepatitis, liver transplantation may be considered a lifesaving option14.

Randox Hepatitis Solutions

Acusera

Acusera provides a range of positive and negative serology controls comprising various infectious diseases including Hepatitis. The table below details the suitable controls, and more information can be found on our website: Serology Quality Controls – Randox Laboratories

RIQAS

The RIQAS HIV/Hepatitis EQA programme is designed to monitor the performance of tests used to detect HIV/Hepatitis antibodies and specific antigens. All samples are conveniently supplied liquid ready-to-use and are suitable for qualitative methods of analysis.

Parameters:

  • Anti-HIV-1
  • Anti-HCV
  • Anti-HTLV-II
  • HBsAg
  • Anti-HIV-2
  • Anti-HBc
  • Anti-HTLV-1&2 (combined)
  • Anti-HIV-1&2 (combined)
  • Anti-HTLV-I
  • Anti-CMV
  • Anti-HAV IgM
  • Anti-HAV (Total)
  • Anti-HBc (Total)
  • Anti-HBe (Total)
  • Anti-HBs (Total)
  • P24

For more information, please visit our website at: HIV Hepatitis EQA | RIQAS (randox.com)

Qnostics

Monitoring for the presence of Blood Borne Virus (BBV) nucleic acid is an essential parameter in guiding clinical treatment and patient outcomes. The use of appropriate quality control measures is important in ensuring the appropriate daily performance of the molecular assay used in the laboratory independent of the technology.

Qnostics’ Blood Borne Virus Molecular Controls comprises a range of pathogens which are classically detected directly from the blood including those related to hepatitis. The table below lists the Qnostics products related to hepatitis testing. For more information visit our website: Qnostics | Molecular Infectious Disease Controls – Randox Laboratories

QCMD

QCMD is a world-leading External Quality Assessment (EQA) / Proficiency Testing (PT) scheme, dedicated to improving the quality of molecular diagnostic assays used in the detection of infectious diseases. With an extensive database of over 2000 participants in over 100 countries, QCMD is one of the largest providers of molecular EQA in the field of molecular diagnostics. QCMD programmes related to hepatitis testing are listed below:

  • HBV Drug resistance Typing EQA programme.
  • HCV Drug resistance Typing EQA programme.
  • Hepatitis B Virus DNA EQA Programme
  • Hepatitis B Virus Dried Blood Spot EQA Pilot Study
  • Hepatitis B virus Genotype EQA Programme
  • Hepatitis C Virus Dried Blood Spot EQA Pilot Study
  • Hepatitis C Virus RNA EQA Programme
  • Hepatitis C virus Genotype EQA Programme
  • Hepatitis D Virus EQA Programme
  • Hepatitis E virus RNA EQA Programme

For more information on any of these EQA programmes please visit: QCMD – Molecular EQA Scheme | Randox Quality Control

Conclusion

World Hepatitis Day serves as a reminder of the global impact of hepatitis and the urgent need to raise awareness, prevent transmission, and improve the diagnosis and management of this disease. By understanding the mechanisms, bacterial species involved, diagnostic techniques, and treatment approaches, we can work towards a future free from the burden of hepatitis. Let us unite in our efforts to combat this disease and strive for a healthier world.

If you’d like to find out more about hepatitis or the diagnosis and testing of hepatitis, please visit our website. If you’d like more information on how Randox can improve hepatitis testing in your laboratory, please reach out to marketing@randox.com.

References

  1.  World Health Organization. World Health Statistics 2023. World Health Organization; 2023. https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240074323
  2. World Health Organization. Hepatitis. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hepatitis-a. Published 2017. Accessed June 9, 2023.
  3. Wan Z, Wang X. Bacterial Hepatitis. In: Encyclopedia of Medical Microbiology. Elsevier; 2020:110-117.
  4. Russo TA, McFadden DC. Bacterial and fungal infections in patients with cirrhosis. Clin Liver Dis. 2019;14(2):71-74.
  5. World Health Organization. Hepatitis E. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hepatitis-e. Published 2018. Accessed June 9, 2023.
  6. Rakesh S, Pekamwar SS. Hepatitis A. In: StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing; 2020.
  7. World Health Organization. Hepatitis B. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hepatitis-b. Published 2021. Accessed June 9, 2023.
  8. World Health Organization. Hepatitis D. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hepatitis-d. Published 2021. Accessed June 9, 2023.
  9. Alfaresi MS, Elkoush AA, Khan AS. Serological diagnosis of viral hepatitis. J Clin Transl Hepatol. 2017;5(4):343-359.
  10. European Association for the Study of the Liver. EASL Recommendations on Treatment of Hepatitis C. J Hepatol. 2017;66(1):153-194.
  11. European Association for the Study of the Liver. EASL 2017 Clinical Practice Guidelines on the management of hepatitis B virus infection. J Hepatol. 2017;67(2):370-398.
  12. Vermehren J, Sarrazin C. New HCV therapies on the horizon. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2011;17(2):122-134.
  13. World Health Organization. Hepatitis A. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hepatitis-a. Published 2020. Accessed June 9, 2023.
  14. Kim WR, Terrault NA. Hepatocellular carcinoma and liver transplantation. Clin Liver Dis. 2018;22(2):381-394.